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What are Bitcoin Wallets?

Want to put your Bitcoins someplace safe, but don’t know how to choose a wallet? This guide should help you make a decision!

When you own Bitcoins, their safety should be on the top of your list. Fortunately for you, making sure they remain where you want them to be is not that hard. That is what Bitcoin wallets are for.

Still, you need to choose the option that suits you best, since there are five different types of wallets and countless different providers of the service. What follows is a brief description of each available type, complete with examples of individual wallets.

Desktop wallets

When it comes to security, desktop wallets are at the top of the list.

However, they have one big downside, and that is the fact that using them could prove to be a bit too technical if you are new to the network.

Also, they require downloading software onto your computer, and don’t allow you to make transactions from anywhere else.

Some of the best desktop wallets are Bitcoin Core, Multibit and Armory. While Bitcoin Core was the very first, the other two are just as good in keeping your investment safe.



Mobile wallets

These aren’t as safe as desktop wallets, but they still do a pretty good job. Furthermore, all the potential security breaches can be prevented by keeping the largest amount of Bitcoins somewhere else.

As for the rest, since they are stored on your mobile phone, they are very easy to access and handle.

Some of the most popular mobile wallets include Mycelium, Wirex and Xapo. While the first boasts bank-grade safety, the other two offer ease of use.



Online wallets

As the name itself suggests, this type of Bitcoin wallet functions by storing your units online.

They are very fast and very user-friendly, mostly because they allow you to access and handle your Bitcoins from any device that can go online. This, however, makes them easier to hack as well. It is probably the main reason why not that many people end up using them., Bitgo and GreenAddress are the safest options. They are at once easy to use and equipped with the best software.



Hardware wallets

If you want to keep a larger amount of Bitcoins safe, hardware wallets should be your first choice.

The device you will get if you decide to buy one is at the same time portable and easy to use. They provide you with complete control, all the while making sure nothing happens to your investment.

Some of the best hardware wallets are Keepkey, Trezor and Ledger Nano. Although they all provide the highest level of security, Ledger Nano is quite affordable as well.



Paper wallets

The main strategy behind this type of wallet is keeping Bitcoins secure by bringing them offline. Although this ensures their safety, it is in itself a risky method, since paper can be easily destroyed. Another downside is the fact that such wallets don’t come with recovery mechanisms.

If you end up choosing a paper wallet, it would be best to pick either BitcoinPaperWallet or BitAddress. They are both among the safest wallets of this type.



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Autore: Gino Topini. A great fan of cryptocurrencies, I participated as a speaker at the China Forex Expo 2017 and I was the protagonist of a podcast on the Canadian site Desire To Trade. LinkedIn
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